In this example we will will look at an image that was supplied to me because the person was having an issue lasering it on wood. When it comes to a lot of product that we laser photos onto it is advisable to get rid of the background if we can. This puts more focus on the image and gets rid of the issue that we have with this photo.
Here is the Problem File Lasered on Wood
This file suffers from two issues. One is the background needs to be cutout. The background is to dark and is obscuring our image. The second issue is the photo is being processed as a halftone (dithered image) so we need to go the extra step and use an error diffusion algorithm on it.
Send the Photo to PhotoPaint From CorelDraw
First open the photo into CorelDraw. We need to cut out the image so that we remove the background. Right click on the image and select the “Edit Bitmap” (1) This will open the image in Photo Paint – CorelDraw’s companion program. Note you can load the image into PhotoPaint do your adjustments and than import that finished photo into CorelDraw.
Open Up the CutOut Lab
When we click on the “Edit Bitmap” (we are now in PhotoPaint) command our image is opened up in PhotoPaint. Here we can open up Cutout Lab so that we can get rid of the background in our image. To open up Cutout Lab requires us to go to IMAGE (1) CUTOUT LAB (2).
Start to Outline our image
First select your pen tool (1). Adjust the size that you want. Next start to outline the image keeping half of your line on the image you want to keep and half on the area you want to get rid of (2).
Outline the Entire Image
Outline the entire image. Make sure that the green line is totally closed.
Fill the Image
The software needs to know what we want to keep and what we want to get rid of. We do this by filling the image that we want to keep. Select the fill tool (1). Next click in the image that we want to keep (2). It will change to a purple colour.
Click on the Preview Button
To knock out the background click on the “Preview” button.
Our Background is Out
I have Knocked out the background so the image will stand up better
Here is our Image in Corel PhotoPaint
The checkerboard pattern in CorelPhoto shows us we have a transparent image which is important as it shows us that there is no colour in the background. This is important if we decide to invert this image. A transparent image will not go to black and thus we will not have a black rectangle around the image.
Click Save or Finish Editing
If you want to send the image to CorelDraw you can click either Save or Finish Editing – it depends on the version of Corel you are using. This will save the changes you made to the photo to the original file in CorelDraw. If you want to finish off the image in Corel PhotoPaint than we can continue. Our next step is to re size the image the size to the size we want to engrave our image at using the resample command
Convert to Grayscale
Our first step as always is to convert to grayscale
Adjust the Red and Yellow in Our Photo
Our next step is to convert out image from colour to grayscale. As our image has a bit of a red cast we need to eliminate it. We do this in the convert to Grayscale. I need to slide my red(1) and yellow(2) sliders to the right to lighten up the image. You only need to adjust these two sliders as the other colours will normally have little effect on our image
Our Image is Converted to Grayscale
I have adjust my red from 40 to 86 and my yellow from 90 to 114. This will lighten up the image. You can see that my image is lighter than the previous image
Notice I Still Have My Detail
Because the red cast was only in the skin of my subjects the only adjustment happened with the skin tones and not anything else in the photo. Thus the detail in the dress and the suite are still there.
Select the Unsharp Mask
I next have to go to BITMAPS (1) SHARPEN (2) UNSHARP MASK (3)
Adjust Using the Sharpen Command
Because we are going to put our image on wood than we need to sharpen our image a particular way Normally when it comes to wood I like to use a “Percentage” of 500 (1) and my “Radius (2) needs to be 8 to 12. I have used 8 in this example.
Our Image is Sharpened
My Image has been sharpened and we are now able to move on to the next step
Select Black and White
We now need to convert out image to black and white. Go to BITMAPS (1) MODE (2) BLACK AND WHITE (3).
Select Our Error Diffusion Method
It does not matter which error diffusion algorithm you use. You can use Jarvis, Floyd Steinberg or Stucki. In this example I have used Jarvis (1). Click OK to accept your conversion.
Do Not Worry if Our image Looks Funny or of Low Quality
Once you click on OK you will see that the image has lost a bit of detail. The other problem as you can see from the above screen is that the image does not look good. This had nothing to do with the image but the zoom factor and how it is displayed on the screen in CorelDraw
Change Your Zoom Factor
If I change my zoom factor you will notice that the image now looks better on the screen. This is because I have zoom into the image and it portrays the dots better.